Substituted SrFeO3 as robust oxygen sorbents for thermochemical air separation: correlating redox performance with compositional and structural properties†
Thermochemical air separation via cyclic redox reactions of oxide-based oxygen sorbents has the potential to achieve high energy efficiency. Although a number of promising sorbents have been investigated, further improvements in sorbent performance through a fundamental understanding of the structure–performance relationships are highly desirable. In this study, we systematically investigated the effects of A and B site dopants on the oxygen uptake/release properties (i.e., vacancy formation energy, reduction enthalpy, oxygen release temperature, and oxygen capacity) of the SrFeO3 family of perovskites as oxygen sorbents. A monotonic correlation between DFT calculated oxygen vacancy formation energy and oxygen release temperature demonstrates the effectiveness of DFT for guiding sorbent selection. Combining vacancy formation energy with stability analysis, dopants such as Ba and Mn have been identified for tuning the redox property of SrFeO3 sorbents, and increasing the oxygen capacity for temperature and pressure swings when compared to undoped SrFeO3. The Mn doped sample proved to be highly stable, with less than a 3% decrease in capacity over 1000 cycles. Although the dynamic nature of the redox process makes it difficult to use a single vacancy formation energy as the descriptor, a systematic approach was developed to correlate the oxygen storage capacities with the sorbents’ compositional properties and vacancy formation energies. The combination of DFT calculations with experimental studies from this study provides a potentially effective strategy for developing improved sorbents for thermochemical air separation.